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Has Kinect just found its hardcore games?

Opinion: Tom Pakinkis thinks things are looking up for MS motion sensing

We've all had a titter over Kinect devs dancing like dweebs with Dance Central, sniggered at happy families bounding around pristine living rooms like upper middle-class mental patients. Screw it, we've even let out a nervous chortle at the thought of becoming a little boy's imaginary friend.

But the time for hatin' is over. Forget the shovelware and the Granny pleasers. The first wave of hardcore Kinect titles has started to drip through the cracks of TGS and it's time we all started taking Microsoft's ominous double-eyed sensor seriously.

Not convinced? Let me lay it out for you: For starters, we've got some survival horror on our hands.

Sega's "Rise of Nightmares" sees players embark on "a spine-tingling horror experience", which will apparently cause both fear and tension in our very souls.

Now that's more like it Microsoft. Spine-tingling fear and tension sounds far more satisfying than playing with a baby Tiger (which, to be fair, could well provide a fair dollop of fear and tension as it grows older).

Zoom
Sega's survival horror is out in 2011

It's an unknown entity though, sure, I understand. A new IP that we know nothing about could go either way.

What you need is a bit of a legacy, a proven track record. Enter Grasshopper Maufacture's recently announced Codename D for Kinect, a brand new title from non other than industry quirk-fest Suda51.

That name alone should be enough to open your ears but, if not, the game description will convince you outright that this ain't no night of family goodness.

"You must fight for your life to survive an evil amusement park filled with twisted and eerie creatures," says the official blurb. "With codename D for Kinect you are the controller as you unleash devastating effects to destroy enemies and objects."

Try getting Grandma involved in some mutant bashing after her afternoon nap. The poor lass won't know what hit her. Hardcore Kinect, Nan, that's what hit you.

BRING OUT THE BIG GUNS
What's that? You're not going to rush out and spend £129.99 for the sake of one game? Me neither, but there's plenty more where that came from. Soon after the announcement of Codename D, Microsoft threw a few more brand new Kinect titles our way, each one infinitely more interesting than everything we've seen so far and backed by some pretty big names to boot.

How about a little franchise called Steel Battalion? The next in the Capcom series, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armour, comes loaded with Kinect support and the premise sounds as AAA as any:


"Manhattan, 2082: In a world where computers and almost all modern technology have been lost, the greatest nations of the world continue to battle for supremacy.

"The American army lands in New York to begin its first big offensive of a long ground war. Soldiers fire from the trenches as scorched bunkers belch black smoke.

"As comrades continually fall to the unrelenting crossfire of bullets, the Vertical Tanks make their relentless advance. Experience the battlefield as never before with Kinect for Xbox 360."

"Army", "tanks", "comrades"? It's a promising start.

If that's still not enough then I've got the clincher for you. How many Kinect units would you buy if I told you it was going to be the host of Panzer Dragoon?

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